Is Walmart a Department Store? [Complete Overview]

Want to learn about exactly what a department store is and why Walmart is (or isn’t) one?

Or maybe you want to understand what store category better describes Walmart?

No matter what your question is, the answer is right here.

Is Walmart a Department Store?

Walmart is a department store by definition. Department stores are large and stock many varieties of items, which certainly describes Walmart. However, Walmart is most often considered a big-box store or superstore because of its immensely large size and incredibly diverse variety of products.


  • Walmart is technically a department store.
  • However, Walmart is more commonly known as a big box or superstore.
  • The sheer variety of products and services at Walmart makes it fall into almost every retail store category.

Now, let’s find out exactly what makes Walmart a department store.

And what category all the other Walmart offerings fall into!

What Is the Definition of a Department Store?

First, you need to understand exactly what a department store is. Then you can understand why Walmart does fit into the definition.

A department store is defined as a large store that stocks a variety of goods in separate sections of the store.

Now, by that definition, Walmart is certainly a department store.

However, when we think of department stores, we often think of Nordstroms, Macy’s, etc.

These stores have a much different and smaller layout than Walmart, and they offer a far smaller variety of products.

The bottom line is that Walmart is a large store with various products which are organized into sections. So yes, it is a department store.

But Walmart is not usually considered a department store. In fact, it is a lot different than most department stores!

What Type of Store Is Walmart?

Realistically, Walmart falls into almost every retail store category because of its wide variety of products and services.

So, while it is a department store, Walmart also fits into each of these store categories:

  • Superstore
  • Big-box Store
  • Discount Store
  • Supermarket

These terms have various definitions, but they all describe Walmart in one way or another!

Now, it’s important to note that Walmart is not just its giant stores; it also has several other types of retail options to understand.

Walmart Online

Walmart online is a department store, discount store, grocery store, superstore, and even a third-party marketplace.

Because offers almost everything the stores do, it falls into all of the same categories.

Walmart Supercenter

Of the 10,500 Walmart stores around the world, there are thousands of Walmart Supercenters.

Walmart Supercenters are larger than standard Walmart stores, and they have a lot more to offer.

Usually, Walmart Supercenters also host groceries, Auto Care Centers, Vision Centers, hair salons, MoneyGram counters, chain fast food stores, and others.

Consequently, Walmart Superstores fall into almost every retail store category that exists.

Walmart Neighborhood Market

On the other hand, Walmart Neighborhood Markets are quite different than Walmart Superstores.

Instead of increasing the size and options, Neighborhood Markets are small and usually focus on local produce and products.

They are more easily accessible but still over the same discount prices that Walmart is known for.

So, Walmart Neighborhood Markets would be considered department stores, discount stores, and grocery stores.


Walmart stores are certainly department stores in that they are large stores that offer a variety of products separated into departments.

However, Walmart stores are really much more than department stores. They are big-box stores, discount stores, grocery stores, and superstores.

While Walmart offers a variety of types of stores, including Walmart online, Walmart Superstores, and Walmart Neighborhood Markets. But technically, they are all department stores.